Hello, Spirits and Otherselves!
Have you ever felt like something’s watching you? Especially around mirrors? Have you seen movements in the reflections that you just can’t explain, that your brain just seems to fail to process? As risky as it may be, I think it’s time to take a closer look, because…
This week’s Writing Group prompt is:
Monster in the Mirror
RULES AND GUIDELINES BELOW!
Make sure you scroll down and read them if you haven’t! You may not be eligible if you don’t!
There’s so many different stories and myths and beliefs surrounding mirrors and reflections. Which gives us many ways to twist and bend this lovely prompt.
One way to take this prompt is a rather classic route. We’ve all heard of Bloody Mary, haven’t we? Perhaps you choose to write about the time you actually tried the trick yourself. Did it work? Did you, like myself, say it twice and then chicken out? Maybe you choose to write from Mary’s perspective. Is she really bloodthirsty, or does she just get a bad rap? What does she do inside the mirror while she waits for someone to be brave enough to summon her? Or perhaps you choose to write about some ghosts that haunt your home. After all, the mirror seems to be a very popular place to see them. Always looming in the background, just over your shoulder or passing through the background.
You could also write about someone who sees only the worst in themselves, who absolutely hates facing themselves in the mirror because they see just someone they hate. Maybe you write about them coming to terms with something about themselves. What part do they finally accept? Do they work through something that’s been weighing them down? Maybe the monster they see in the mirror isn’t themselves at all, but the reflection, taunting them and telling them the worst things about themselves. Maybe this reflection even wants to take their place in the real world. Or maybe this mirror is no real mirror at all, but an Ungaikyo, a particular Japanese yokai in the form of a possessed mirror that can warp and twist the reflections to show what it prefers to show. Oftentimes, when a human looks into it, it shows the human a monstrous, transformed version of themselves.
Mirrors are all around us. They don’t always have to be in pretty frames or on bathroom or bedroom walls, either. Anything reflective can act as a mirror. Windows, bodies of water, shiny metal objects like doorknobs or faucet taps. When you really think about it… your reflection is a hard thing to escape.
So steel your nerves and look back into yourself.
What do you see?
Remember, this is part of our weekly Writing Group stream! Submit a little piece following the rules and guidelines below, and there’s a chance your entry will be read live on stream! In addition, we’ll discuss it for a minute and give you some feedback.
The whole purpose of this is to show off the creativity of the community, while also helping each other to become better writers. Lean into that spirit! Get ready not just to share what you’ve got, but to give back to the other writers here as well.
Rules and Guidelines
We read at least four stories during each stream, two of which come from the public post, and two of which come from the much smaller private post. Submissions are randomly selected by a bot, but likes on your post will improve your chances of selection, so be sure to share your submission on social media!
Text and Formatting
- English only.
- Prose only, no poetry or lyrics.
- Use proper spelling, grammar, and syntax.
- Your piece must be between 250-350 words (you can use this website to see your wordcount).
- Use two paragraph breaks between each paragraph so that they have a proper space between them (press “enter” or “return” twice).
- Include a submission title and an author name (doesn’t have to be your real name). Do not include any additional symbols or flourishes in this part of your submission. Format them exactly as you see in this example, or your submission may not be eligible: Example Submission.
- No additional text styling (such as italics or bold text). Do not use asterisks, hyphens, or any other symbol to indicate whether text should be bold, italic, or styled in any other way. CAPS are okay, though.
What to Submit
- Keep submissions “safe-for-work”; be sparing with sexuality, violence, and profanity.
- Try to focus on making your submission a single meaningful moment rather than an entire story.
- Write something brand new; no re-submitting past entries or pieces written for other purposes
- No fan fiction whatsoever. Take inspiration from whatever you’d like, but be transformative and creative with it. By submitting, you also agree that your piece does not infringe on any existing copyrights or trademarks, and you have full license to use it.
- Submissions must be self-contained (everything essential to understanding the piece is contained within the context of the piece itself—no mandatory reading outside the piece required. e.g., if you want to write two different pieces in the same setting or larger narrative, you cannot rely on information from one piece to fill in for the other—they must both give that context independently).
- One submission per participant.
- Submit your entry in a comment on this post.
- Submissions close at 12:00pm CST each Friday.
- You must like and leave a review on two other submissions to be eligible. Your reviews must be at least 50 words long, and must be left directly on the submission you are reviewing, not on another comment. If you’re submitting to the private post, feel free to leave these reviews on either the private or the public post. The two submissions you like need not be the same as the submissions you review.
- Be constructive and uplifting. These submissions are not for a professional market, and shouldn’t be treated as such. We do this, first and foremost, for the joy of the craft. Help other writers to feel like their work is valuable, and be considerate and gentle with critique when you offer it. Authors who leave particularly abrasive or disheartening remarks on this post will be disqualified from selection for readings.
- Use the same e-mail for your posts, reviews, and likes, or you may be rendered ineligible (you may change your username or author name between posts without problem, however).
- You may submit to either or both the public/private groups if you have access, but if you decide to submit to both, only the private group submission will be eligible.
- Understand that by submitting here, you are giving us permission to read your submission aloud live on stream and upload public, archived recordings of said stream to our social media platforms. You will always be credited, but only by the author name you supply as per these rules. No other links or attributions are guaranteed.
Comments on this post that aren’t submissions will be deleted, except for replies/reviews left on existing submissions.